Alicia she was just a worrier. She said she would feel keyed up and unable to relax. At times it would come and go, and at times it would be constant. She is now afraid to go to a simple dinner party or even go to a restaurant. She stays in bed most days and hardly leaves her house. Thoughts Alicia has are racing and she says it’s hard to let things go. Alicia also has sleeping problems, trouble concentrating, lightheadedness, and worries about everything. I would diagnose Alicia with social anxiety disorder. This is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations.
Anxiety arises from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others. A person with social anxiety disorder is afraid that they will make mistakes, look bad, and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. With this fear, they might not go around social situations at all. Without treatment, social anxiety disorder can negatively interfere with the person’s normal daily routine. (MayoClinic,2013) Symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include: avoidance of social situations, anxiety in social situations, confusion, fast heartbeat, tension, and confusion.
I will tell Alicia that this is a very common disorder. This disorder is second to depression, and it is more common in adult females than males. There is no known cause, but biological, psychological, and environmental factors may have an influence. Since these symptoms listed above are present, I will evaluate further by by asking questions about Alicia’s medical history and performing a physical exam. No lab tests will be done. If no physical illness is found, I will recommend her to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist.
Along with this evaluation and seeing a psychiatrist or a psychologist, the most effective treatment currently is cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. Medication is also used to help ease the symptoms of social anxiety disorder so that cognitive behavioral therapy is more effective. (MayoClinic,2013) CBT is a guide to make someone’s thoughts more rational and tells them to stop social situations until symptoms subside. Therapy may include real life situations or exposure therapy. The medication that can be used to help with CBT is antidepressants, tranquilizers, and beta blockers. MayoClinic,2013) With good treatment, Alicia can improve and enjoy a more productive life. Mrs. Arthur Mrs. Arthur is constantly afraid of catching cancer from contact with other people. She is particularly afraid of touching people who may have been in hospital where cancer patients have treatment. She tries to avoid touching anyone because they may have touched someone else who has had contact with cancer. Because of this she tries to avoid going out of the house at all. If she does touch someone, she has to wash her hands and her clothes extremely thoroughly, sometimes taking hours.
She also insists that her husband and children should take off their clothes and wash themselves thoroughly whenever they come into the house. Her family is becoming increasingly impatient with this. She knows these fears are unrealistic but she cannot seem to stop. I would diagnose Mrs. Arthur with Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that traps people in endless cycles of repetitive thoughts and behaviors. People with OCD are constantly distressed with thoughts, fears, or obsessions they cannot control.
The anxiety from these thoughts leads to an urgent need to perform certain rituals or routines. The compulsive rituals are performed in an attempt to prevent the obsessive thoughts or make them go away. (PubMedHelp,2013) Doing the rituals may only temporarily relieve the symptoms. Sometimes the rituals will last hours upon hours and interferes with their normal lifestyle. Symptoms of OCD include: obsessions, compulsions, fears of germs, causing harm, or making mistakes. They will repeatedly bath, shower, or wash their hands. They will also avoid touching things, and repeatedly check things.
They may also clean a lot, count things, or do things in a specific order. There is no known cause of OCD but biological and environmental factors may be an influence. There is also no lab test to diagnose OCD. I would clearly diagnose Mrs. Arthur by simply looking at her symptoms and evaluate how much time she spends doing her “rituals”. OCD can be treated with medications and cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a therapy to teach people with OCD to confront their fears and reduce anxiety without performing the ritual behaviors. Also called exposure therapy.
Medications that can subside symptoms are antidepressants or a serotonin inhibitor. Electroconvulsive therapy or ECT is a therapy that uses electrodes that are attached to the patient’s head and a series of electric shocks are delivered to the brain, which induce seizures. The seizures cause the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. (PubMedHelp,2013) In the end, it relieves symptoms or treats OCD altogether. In most cases, these treatments can successfully help Mrs. Arthur with her OCD. With ongoing treatment, she can have long term relief from symptoms and gain a normal life again.